A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke
Posted by: Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan
Lynn: Here is the challenge should you chose to accept it. Describe A Little Book of Sloth (S&S March 2013) without using the word cute or dissolving into a puddle of goo over the adorable pictures. I’m sorry but even the indefatigable Mr. Phelps would find that a total impossible mission. It simply can’t be done because this book is the very definition of CUTE and guaranteed to win over the hardest of hearts.
Who would have guessed that baby sloths would be so heart-meltingly adorable? Trust me, whether they are having a bath, snuggling in a “cuddle puddle” or munching a green bean, they are enchanting and Lucy Cooke’s photos would wring coos from Oscar the Grouch.
This (yes, I’ll say it) cute book chronicles the story of Slothville, the sanctuary tucked into a sleepy corner of Costa Rica, that cares for 150 orphaned and injured sloths. It all began with Buttercup who arrived as a tiny baby on Judy Arroyo’s doorstep. Now twenty years later, Buttercup is still Queen of the sanctuary and Judy and her team have worked hard to unravel the “mysteries behind the sloth’s smile. There’s great information here between the many appealing pictures and Cooke’s text, full of puns, hits just the right note of jokey awareness that saves the book from a potential cuteness overdose. The focus group and I read this book in galley and despite their total 9-year-old boyness, I’ve caught them reading this over and over. I’m telling you now, order multiple copies, you are going to need them!
Cindy: One of my favorite quotes is from Anna Quindlan: “Doing nothing is doing something.” A great motto for a sloth. We could all use a lesson in slowing down. And, okay, yes, the book is cute with more than adorable photos of the sloths but there’s a reason why our focus group loves this book. Perhaps it was the bit about the tree that the sloth descends once a week to do his “business” and that you need a “poo pole” if you are going to potty train a baby sloth? Or the fact that “Three-fingered sloths are the only mammal on the planet with extra neck vertebrae and can turn their heads up to 270 degrees.”? Or that wild sloths are green in color from algae and insects and a sloth-dwelling moth, all of which keeps them safe from eagle prey. “Since their top speed is fifteen feet a minute, running from danger is simply not an option.”
After paging through all the adorable photos of cuddling sloths it’s a good thing that the authors included the warning that sloths should not be kept as pets. You can adopt one by sending a donation that will help care for an orphaned sloth until it can be released back into the wild. I’ll get on that as soon as I wake from my nap…
I should have written some Common Core Connections to post with this, but I have the day off today and I’m feeling a little slothful after reading this delightful book again. I think I’ll just chill. Perhaps I’ll add them later today…